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mosfet50
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Hello yourself!

I've already shown that Sam Tellig is not an expert, that his subjectivity dominated his perspective and that Art Dudley's hearing has a limited high end, by his own admission. They're experts at what? At selling themselves as experts!
You gave a list of problems that has no bearing either way, in control testing or subjective listening and you used it to show how testing is flawed? What are you talking about? Those problems don't prove a thing.
So what are 'experts' giving us in a magazine and why do we need it? Do we need someone with limited hearing telling us about what he hears? I don't think so but it's the Kings New Clothes, look around the net at audio equipment full of accolades by these guys, they ran out of superlatives somewhere around the time Lee DeForest invented the triode but there's a reason it sells equipment, it's called the power of suggestion and it sells just like an ad for soap sells soap. Why do you think companies pay millions of dollars in Super Bowl ads?

I keep going back to common sense here, how do you compare two pieces of equipment you've heard months apart explaining the finest nuances between them but can't do it in a double blind test? It's not scientifically possible, it completely fails reason. And no one on the planet is above reason.

And it's called anecdotal fallacy, regardless what you believe!

Rob

geoffkait
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More skeptic dogma

You aren't being scientific. You keep repeating the same mantra over and over. "How do they know if they don't do a blind test?" As I've already said more times than I can count a blind test doesn't prove anything. Do you honestly believe that if a blind test shows there are no audible differences between two components that means that the two components always sound the same to all listeners in all systems in all rooms? Do you actually believe that if a controversial tweak, let's take Mpingo discs for example, is shown to not make an audible difference in a blind test that proves that the Moingo disc is a fraud and doesn't work? Do you realize how dogmatic and closed minded that sounds?

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamics

rrstesiak
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Why all the hate?

What is the purpose of this debate?

It sounds like the OP has lost faith in at least a couple of audio expert reviewers here on Stereophile.

It further sounds like the OP is suggesting Stereophile introduce more formal testing procedures between pieces of equipment.

I have no fundamental issues with anything spoken. But do have some observations and concern with HOW the OP's opinion is being expressed:

1. Stereophile has in fact produced volumes and volumes of detailed test results..and drops signal analysis and other terminology like Fourier analysis left and right. So perhaps the OP is perturbed about a specific review? If so, then just be specific and address your precise concern(s) with a precise review. That way this will be much more productive; without getting personal and destructive.

2. Experts are just that: experts. They have gotten there by a combination of education, experience, and their own repeated constant ability to produce successful results to their customers and colleagues. Last time I looked, this is not "american Idol" and we are not here to "vote off" experts. Good grief. Relax, old sport.

3. This is my most concerned reason for even typing. It kind of upsets me on a visceral level to suggest that a staff member of a well regarded magazine be tested for hearing and their results published. That sounds like a page out of "Mein Kampf" or Karl Marx. The sheer notion of that easily leads to the *very* slippery slope of invasion of privacy and other Bill of Rights Violations. This is America. Please just let the man do his job. If his superiors feel he is medically unfit, they will address it. Flaming the poor gentleman here is definitely NOT the solution; though I certainly will not get in the way of your own "Freedom of Speech". But with that freedom comes a responsibility: to use at least some decorum and kindness and be a little more respectful of the people on staff at this long-lived and well regarded magazine.

Regards,

Ronald R. Stesiak PhD (h.c.)
National Science Foundation

DISCLAIMER: I am not a staff member nor do I have any affiliation with Stereophile or any parent organizations or subsidiaries thereof. I'm just a concerned reader.

mosfet50
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You clearly don't understand the blind test

"As I've already said more times than I can count a blind test doesn't prove anything."

You're making a subjective statement AGAIN, it's your opinion, you have to give data and facts to support a hypothesis. Opinions don't hold any weight whatsoever, that's not how science works. Please educate yourself.

"Do you honestly believe that if a blind test shows there are no audible differences between two components that means that the two components always sound the same to all listeners in all systems in all rooms?"

What's a blind test? It's a test where an individual listens to two or more pieces of equipment and repeatedly differentiates between them or finds no difference. So, if there's no audible difference how can he hear a difference??? Think about what you're saying. Did I say another individual couldn't hear a difference? Never! The blind test is singular to the specific individual. Period.
If an individual can hear no difference between two components, regardless how long he or she listens to them, that he or she will be equally happy with either all other factors being equal. That's common sense, prove that if an individual listening to two or more pieces of equipment can't hear a difference that there is a difference to the same individual. You can't, it's impossible – A priori.
Please take a course in critical thinking and logic. Your ability to form cohesive logical thought, for lack of a better definition, is completely and totally absent.
Rob

rrstesiak
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Please don't be rude

mosfet50:

I fear your style of debate has merely fallen to being rude to a friend I have made here on these forums. Would you please just explain your point in detail so that your freedom of speech may be respected and addressed and we all can move on?

Regards,

Ron

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At last we agree!!

You wrote,

"What's a blind test? It's a test where an individual listens to two or more pieces of equipment and repeatedly differentiates between them or finds no difference. So, if there's no audible difference how can he hear a difference??? Think about what you're saying. Did I say another individual couldn't hear a difference? Never! The blind test is singular to the specific individual. Period."

I knew we'd finally agree on something. You are agreeing with my statement finally that two observers might have different results or draw different conclusions if they perform the tests independently. This is what I've been saying all along. But the catch is that you can't have your cake and eat it, too. Why would you say listener A is correct but listener B is wrong? They are both simply data points. Now, if you were to make the statement that YOU had such and such results when YOU performed a test of some sort then I would probably pay more attention to your arguments and give you the benefit of the doubt that you were reportIing what you heard. I don't think anyone is really saying that NOBODY IS INFALLIBLE. One the other hand isn't it logical to assume that those who practice the art of listening and reviewing are less prone to error? Everything is relative, so even reviewers can be wrong sometimes. Would you say reviewers in general are MORE prone to error than the average person?

To err is human. To forgive Devine. Lol

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

iosiP
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Hello Ron, please re-read the first page

You will see I gave a specific example of a device (the Zanden DAC) that Michael Fremer considered superlative and John Atkinson found to have over 20% THD. Now don't get me wrong, I know people who listen to SET amps with close to 10% THD but they admit that what they hear is far from what is on the media: they just like it this way.
However, I would expect an expert to identify 20% THD and call it as such, no matter if he likes the sound - after all, the potential buyer might prefer better fidelity instead of euphonic distortion.

As for DBT, it's useless! I have a track record of over 30 years in "audiophilia nervosa" but a few years ago I got fooled by listening conditions. Let me explain: at that time I listened mostly to electronic music, for reasons I don't feel I have to make public. I asked a dealer (and friend) to bring some new interconnect to better complement my system. Well, he came with two models from two brands, I listened to each of them (so the test was not blind) and I decided to keep the cheapest-looking model. BTW, price was not an issue since any of them was free as part of a system update. Well now, I lived happily with the new interconnect until I started to listen (again) to a more diverse kind of music... that's when I cringed!

And a short notice for mosfet50: give me two "reasonable" speaker cables (I mean, not a top of the line designer cable and some romex wire) and I guarantee that I can set up a system and select the proper music to make any of those cables sound better than the other.

mosfet50
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rrstesiak wrote:
rrstesiak wrote:

What is the purpose of this debate?

It sounds like the OP has lost faith in at least a couple of audio expert reviewers here on Stereophile.

It further sounds like the OP is suggesting Stereophile introduce more formal testing procedures between pieces of equipment.

I have no fundamental issues with anything spoken. But do have some observations and concern with HOW the OP's opinion is being expressed:

1. Stereophile has in fact produced volumes and volumes of detailed test results..and drops signal analysis and other terminology like Fourier analysis left and right. So perhaps the OP is perturbed about a specific review? If so, then just be specific and address your precise concern(s) with a precise review. That way this will be much more productive; without getting personal and destructive.

2. Experts are just that: experts. They have gotten there by a combination of education, experience, and their own repeated constant ability to produce successful results to their customers and colleagues. Last time I looked, this is not "american Idol" and we are not here to "vote off" experts. Good grief. Relax, old sport.

3. This is my most concerned reason for even typing. It kind of upsets me on a visceral level to suggest that a staff member of a well regarded magazine be tested for hearing and their results published. That sounds like a page out of "Mein Kampf" or Karl Marx. The sheer notion of that easily leads to the *very* slippery slope of invasion of privacy and other Bill of Rights Violations. This is America. Please just let the man do his job. If his superiors feel he is medically unfit, they will address it. Flaming the poor gentleman here is definitely NOT the solution; though I certainly will not get in the way of your own "Freedom of Speech". But with that freedom comes a responsibility: to use at least some decorum and kindness and be a little more respectful of the people on staff at this long-lived and well regarded magazine.

Regards,

Ronald R. Stesiak PhD (h.c.)
National Science Foundation

DISCLAIMER: I am not a staff member nor do I have any affiliation with Stereophile or any parent organizations or subsidiaries thereof. I'm just a concerned reader.

First, there's no hate.

Secondly, I never had faith in subjectivity. In fact I don't have faith in anything, faith is the blind acceptance of the unknown. If you want to have faith, have a good time.

How many times do I have to explain that this statement has no place in science:

"As I've already said more times than I can count a blind test doesn't prove anything."

Yet he keeps making it as though it was a fact! So I asked him to please educate himself as to how science works, I think that's fair, it's certainly not angry. I harbor no anger whatsoever.

You think I'm wrong because I asked that an individual who believes he's an expert and compares the high frequency nuances between two pieces of equipment to actually prove he's capable of hearing those frequencies?
And I'm wrong to ask that an individual who compares two pieces of equipment he's heard several months apart to do it in a double blind test? Doesn't logic dictate that he should be able to and if he can't than how is it remotely possible that he can do it months apart?
Michael Fremer can't hear 20% distortion, is that an expert? Sam Tellig doesn't have the background to know that what he's saying is impossible scientifically? So are they experts? If Art Dudley, who scorns double blind tests. can't differentiate between two pieces of equipment in a side by side test, is he an expert? No.

I have no hidden agenda, in fact it was Art Dudley who started the ball rolling with his condemnation of blind tests. I asked him and now you, what should we use if we don't use science to evaluate equipment? His opinion? What would you like to use instead of blind tests and A/B subtractive tests? Subjectivity?

What's your answer?

Rob

mosfet50
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I wasn't rude

I was honest and direct, Again, I have no anger "hate" for anyone, much less someone giving his opinion on a thread.

I never expressed hate anywhere here, show me where I have. Please choose your words more carefully before you spend your accusations.

Thank you,
Rob

mosfet50
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The DBT didn't fail your critical thinking did!

You guys keep making the same mistakes!
What did I say, "all things being equal". So you have two different cables and you set them up exactly the same "all things being equal".

"As for DBT, it's useless! I have a track record of over 30 years in "audiophilia nervosa" but a few years ago I got fooled by listening conditions. Let me explain: at that time I listened mostly to electronic music, for reasons I don't feel I have to make public. I asked a dealer (and friend) to bring some new interconnect to better complement my system. Well, he came with two models from two brands, I listened to each of them (so the test was not blind) and I decided to keep the cheapest-looking model. BTW, price was not an issue since any of them was free as part of a system update. Well now, I lived happily with the new interconnect until I started to listen (again) to a more diverse kind of music... that's when I cringed!"

You bought the first cables because you listened with "all things being equal" except for the cables which you were evaluating. The double blind test wasn't "useless" it fit YOUR criteria! This is exactly what I'm talking about, you clearly don't understand the DBT but you're condemning it. Did you do a subtractive A/B test now on the same two cables? No. Did you redo the double blind test with the same cables and the new music? No. - but the DBT is useless!

Rob

mosfet50
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Then it's not a Double Blind Test-

"And a short notice for mosfet50: give me two "reasonable" speaker cables (I mean, not a top of the line designer cable and some romex wire) and I guarantee that I can set up a system and select the proper music to make any of those cables sound better than the other."

I'm sure you can but it wouldn't be a double blind test!! What's a DBT? ALL THINGS BEING EQUAL!!

geoffkait
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You never answered my question

I asked, what do you do when two independent tests result in two opposite results? One test results in a clear audible difference, the other in no audible difference. Do you throw them both out and start over? Do you throw out the one you don't agree with?

Cheers,

Geoff Kait
Machina Dramatica

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mosfet50 wrote:
mosfet50 wrote:

"And a short notice for mosfet50: give me two "reasonable" speaker cables (I mean, not a top of the line designer cable and some romex wire) and I guarantee that I can set up a system and select the proper music to make any of those cables sound better than the other."

I'm sure you can but it wouldn't be a double blind test!! What's a DBT? ALL THINGS BEING EQUAL!!

Well yes, all things would be equal: same system, same room, same SPL, same... well, EVERYTHING. I would not change anything, I'll just select the best system and music to showcast the performance of cable one vs. cable two.
Still don't get it? Well think about a DBT involving a SET and a SS amp. Most likely the SET won't be able to offer anything close to the dynamic range of the SS amp but it will (probably) be richer in harmonic content. Now let's suppose I organize a DBT with Bach's violin sonatas, which amp do you think will get the best results? OK, now change the test music to Mahler...
See what I mean? And yes, the test can be DB but the organizer still gets to choose the music.

mosfet50
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No really

I'm interested in cable for my system, what do I use? My system or an audio salon with a system close to mine and I bring the music I prefer. After all, I want the equipment in my system for my music so why should I use completely different music and a completely different system? I wouldn't.

Secondly, where's the A/B subtractive test I also asked for?

As for audio cables, you're saying that you can set up such a test, I have no scientific facts to support that opinion. Why should I accept your opinion when I don't even accept magazine writers' opinions?

Audio cable is one of most hyped products in audio:

http://www.prosoundweb.com/article/science_or_snake_oil_the_facts_behind_the_hype_about_loudspeaker_wire/

Or the famous coat hanger test:

http://consumerist.com/2008/03/03/do-coat-hangers-sound-as-good-monster-cables/

Rob

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You're not giving enough information.

What are the independent tests testing?

Is it a DBT test?

An A/B subtractive Test?

You're giving me a vague hypothetical situation.

Rob

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What kind of test and what are we testing?

I was referring to blind tests. But as I have been saying all along it could be ANY kind of test. That's kind of my whole point. Blind tests are not some magic thing that proves something works or doesn't work. Or that component A is better than component B. And the test could be between two different components or the test could be testing a single tweak or device to see if it was audible.

From an earlier post,

""What's a blind test? It's a test where an individual listens to two or more pieces of equipment and repeatedly differentiates between them or finds no difference. So, if there's no audible difference how can he hear a difference??? Think about what you're saying. Did I say another individual couldn't hear a difference? Never! The blind test is singular to the specific individual. Period."

I knew we'd finally agree on something. You are agreeing with my statement finally that two observers might have different results or draw different conclusions if they perform the tests independently. This is what I've been saying all along. But the catch is that you can't have your cake and eat it, too. Why would you say listener A is correct but listener B is wrong? They are both simply data points.

mosfet50
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Again. No!

"I knew we'd finally agree on something. You are agreeing with my statement finally that two observers might have different results or draw different conclusions if they perform the tests independently. This is what I've been saying all along. But the catch is that you can't have your cake and eat it, too. Why would you say listener A is correct but listener B is wrong? They are both simply data points."

I never said one listener is correct and the other isn't. Go back and read what I said. It's about what one specific individual hears, the test is singular to the individual. It has nothing to do with what another individual hears.

It's not a correct or incorrect condition. Listener 'A' is attempting to discern if he or she can hear a difference in two pieces of equipment. What listener 'B' hears or doesn't hear is a non sequitur!

Rob

geoffkait
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You are taking a lot granted IMHO
mosfet50 wrote:

"I knew we'd finally agree on something. You are agreeing with my statement finally that two observers might have different results or draw different conclusions if they perform the tests independently. This is what I've been saying all along. But the catch is that you can't have your cake and eat it, too. Why would you say listener A is correct but listener B is wrong? They are both simply data points."

Here's an example. Suppose person A performs a blind test on two amplifiers and find there is no audible difference between them. So, you would probably say then, well that proves that the two amplifiers under test are essentially the same sound wise, right? But what if they test person A's hearing later say the next day and find out his hearing is limited to 12 KHz frequency response. Then what? Do you disqualify the test? What?

I never said one listener is correct and the other isn't. Go back and read what I said. It's about what one specific individual hears, the test is singular to the individual. It has nothing to do with what another individual hears.

It's not a correct or incorrect condition. Listener 'A' is attempting to discern if he or she can hear a difference in two pieces of equipment. What listener 'B' hears or doesn't hear is a non sequitur!

Rob

OK, let's look at this from a different angle. You said just now that it's "about what one individual hears and the test is singular to the individual." I couldn't agree more. Of course each test is specific to the listener AND the test system. But what if that particular individual can't hear as well as the next guy for some reason or another or doesn't have the SKILL that the next guy possesses? You cannot always find ideal listeners who know what to listen FOR and whose physical hearing is sufficient for the task. What of test subject's system is mediocre or has a mistake in it? Then what? If I'm not mistaken you seem to be of the opinion all listeners are the same and all audio systems are up to the task. f tests were as straightforward as you would have us believe then there would not be such a long debate on this very subject. Especially blind tests.

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

mosfet50
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Wrong again!

Wrong again!
The listener only has to satisfy his or her own ears. If he or she can't find a difference between two pieces of equipment then it ends there. They're auditioning equipment for themselves, no one else! Again, what someone else hears in the same test is a non sequitur.

All listeners are decidedly NOT the same. I never said they were the same or all systems were the same.
Rob

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Ah, so, desu ka?
mosfet50 wrote:

Wrong again!
The listener only has to satisfy his or her own ears. If he or she can't find a difference between two pieces of equipment then it ends there. They're auditioning equipment for themselves, no one else! Again, what someone else hears in the same test is a non sequitur.

All listeners are decidedly NOT the same. I never said they were the same or all systems were the same.
Rob

Have you ever heard the scientific method axiom, "the test must be repeatable?" Well, how can the test be repeatable if for any number of reasons it was not performed correctly? That was actually the reason that the famous botched experiment got so much notoriety. What was it? Oh, yeah, the cold fusion experiment!
If the person is hearing challenged how can he trust his ears? And if he is ALL THUMBS like a lot of folks are (unfortunately) how can he ever trust himself to set his test system up properly? Many systems are out of absolute polarity and their owners don't know it. Their owners don't even know what absolute polarity is. Answers at 11.

Geoff Kait
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mosfet50
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It doesn't matter!

It doesn't matter if he's hearing challenged! An individual is listening to two pieces of equipment and attempting to determine which is best for HIM or HER. Does it matter if their hearing is bad? No, because it doesn't change the test or their ability to select the best piece of equipment for them.

The test only requires the individual to find what equipment is BEST FOR THEM SPECIFICALLY! It doesn't matter what anyone else hears or thinks. Period!

The test isn't set up properly is not a fault of the DBT, the science still holds regardless whether it's Max Planck and Ultraviolet Catastrophe or a music listener auditioning two pieces of equipment.
Is the double blind test repeatable? Yes, absolutely!
Rob

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This where I get off

Nice chatting about this. I suspect we have reached the end of this particular debate.

Cheers,

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

mosfet50
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Be well

Thanks for chatting.
Rob

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the place is needed

First off, I haven't read every word. What I did read got me back to the topic, in my mind anyway, that we need a high end audio testing lab. One that allows us to do both short term and long term studies and testing of all the issues, methods and practical applications involved with this industry. This way, even though many will disagree with results, there will be a common open ended place of study that is able to accommodate as many of the ideas as the user wishes to invest in.

The Institute of High End Audio.

I vote for Las Vegas as the sites location. Maybe others could give their opinions on placement and potential activities. I recommend Las Vegas, for a few reasons. One I'm here, two it would be at the home of the CES, three the desert conditions, four I've done this before and five travel accommodations.

thoughts?

michael green
MGA/RoomTune
http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/

mosfet50
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Good Idea!

Absolutely, standardization using real world meaningful testing is the only way to truly benefit listeners. Manufacturers making exceptional equipment won't have anything to fear, it's the hyped cable, cartridge, turntable, DAC, etc. people selling overpriced snake oil that will lose in the end.
Today's chip designs are so good that, in most cases, they're hard to beat. Take the LM3886 that has fooled editors. The chip is designed using top materials in controlled conditions and cost a few bucks or some of the new DAC chips that make any designer look great. So whose do you buy? Let's find out who's selling their name and who's giving buyers a great product at a reasonable price. There's just no reason why a top of the line DAC, for example, should cost several grand.

Dealer hype, editor hype, let's bypass the nonsense!

Listeners, if they're willing see past the naysayer's negativity, which only benefits their own ends, will find the Double Blind Test, A/B subtractive test, comparative bode plots, etc. to be valuable tools to finding the best equipment for their specific needs.

Rob

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IMO

I think this hobby has opened itself up to "In My Opinion" so blindly that it has created a monster that doesn't need to exist. I agree, it truly has become the world of "Hype". As a result, an industry that should be talked about on every front page has turned itself into a dramatically over priced graveyard. The price-tags replaced common sense, and the sad thing is the number of people who buy into it.

The industry has become so out of balance that the designers themselves will tell you behind closed doors that the "price-tag" is a marketing tool. "you have the biggest product, that cost the most, and you will be considered".

You can't exist forever as an industry that is half engineer half artist without having an equal playing field. The loudest voice doesn't win, and the most expensive is a scam if your talking about "music". It's not a scam if your talking about jewelry, and many audiophiles have completely put on their ear blinders when it comes to how great sound is made.

There must be a place where "IMO" is put to the test and put to the test in every way needed to present "proof & truth". An open opportunity for those who make claims to present their skills and talents. Not a negative place but one that is positive. A place that can explore as many tests as is needed or wanted for each person. I think it should also be a place that has it's own library, and discussion forum, so all can contribute to the knowledge pool.

There are some that will look at specs (and make specs) only and others listening only. Those that base their listening on theory and others that lean toward doing. But a place where all can exist in the spirit of the industry and hobby, and allow equality to all the members who are willing to be put "to the test".

I'd personally like to start talking about such a place, as well the possibility as to what I could give to it.

michael green
MGA/RoomTune
http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/

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I'm not against blind testing or any kind of testing, really.

But, I can't imagine a valid way to make this even possible. I'd love to be able to buy an audio component that I knew would meet my tastes simply by some sort of reliable measurement that would fully convey what the component sounds like to me and my ears, system and room.

This seems more like the usual "let's test the testers" kind of thing from the same sort of people that have never understood what Stereophile and their reviews are meant to do and in what way they are of use to potential consumers. Reviewers aren't telling you what to like, they are telling you what the component sounds like in the context of their systems, having listened to it over a lengthy period of time and in comparison to their reference system and their accumulated experience of listening. That's pretty much it. Of course, each writer does this in their own style of writing and some are more thorough than others, but that's still pretty much all they are saying.

I don't think you guys have really thought this through. Do you have any idea how expensive and time consuming this would be? And that's with the realization that the results can't possibly be definitive without an expectation of knowing what to measure that correlates to what something will sound like. AES can't even achieve that goal and they have decades of development from the brightest minds in the business sharing their designs, data and thoughts on every level of audio.

This sort of thing goes with the territory when art and science becomes intermingled. But, it's not possible to remove one from the other and subjectivity is at the heart of all artistic expressions.

If somebody knows what needs to be measured that isn't being measured, say what it is. So far, we have Mikey's and Art's hearing. Anything else?

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Catch22, may I disagree with one of your statements?

You wrote: "Reviewers aren't telling you what to like, they are telling you what the component sounds like in the context of their systems".
Well no, reviewers are just telling you what they think the component sounds like in the context of their systems, so it's important to know if they are able to identify the real sound they get.
As I wrote before (twice!) when a reviewer is fascinated by the sound of a component with over 20% THD I am entitled to ask myself whether:
a) he cannot hear?
b) his system is broken?
c) his preferences regarding sound are, well, "strange"?
d) he (or the magazine) got a perk from the manufacturer?
So this is not about their writing style, it's all about their listening ability (not questioning their honesty, of course)!

Catch22
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Sure, you are entitled to ask yourself those things

There are numerous speculative conclusions that could be drawn. I might draw the conclusion that Mikey is so engrossed in analog sound that he might not be the best review guy to be listening to SOTA digital. But, that's speculation. I might even speculate that he did a lazy review or maybe ask myself if it's possible that the particular distortion characteristics are all that damaging to the final sound.

In the end, I might say to myself that given MF's decades of experience, that's just puzzling and leave it at that.

It's hard to draw any conclusion off of something like this. But, if you respect JA's role as the Editor, you might just snicker a little at the whole thing. The fact that it was published is far more telling to me than the fact that it was an oddity.

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the place

I want to say though, those times I had these places were some of the best times I have ever experienced in my life. Ten thousand feet of do anything you want audio playland. Not that I would want to do anything that size again, but I think a full size house given to the project would be manageable.

Question is, if there was a place, would the people who have claims to stake come and be tested, and be a part of developing some tests?

One test I'm thinking of is the one I mentioned back around the CES time, where you can put on clothing that monitors your responses to what you are hearing. This could be a next level to the A/B test. I'm not talking just an old school place here, but something that offers a fresh approach to how we measure what we like.

I think it would be very cool to put innovation to work.

The other part to what Catch says will work itself out. I'm not sure we have recovered from the loss of the mom and pop stereo/stores, but the stores we now have, have been taking big steps in in-home reviewing. That I think will only get better.

michael green
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http://tuneland.techno-zone.net/

mosfet50
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It's more than that.

doubled.

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Catch 22, it's more than that.

Apparently you didn't read what I wrote. While I would like to see hearing spectrums of anyone giving their opinions, for the reasons I stated, I also asked for the A/B subtractive test along with the DBT. Again, if you feel a test has flaws you improve the test, you don't discard it.
Sterophile shows several graphs when reviewing equipment but leaves out the most important ones. The A/B subtractive test and the overlay test both give a visual display of the differences between two pieces of equipment. Both are completely logical tests. Is it too hard to save the graph for each piece of equipment as they're tested and overlay it on the present equipment they are comparing it to in their article? Why? It doesn't require more sophisticated equipment then already exists.
After all it makes perfect sense, if you're talking about the smallest details that you believe you can hear then you should be able to see those details in an overlay or subtractive test. It's just plain old common sense applied to science.

So now I'm an editor explaining highs in one amp that don't exist in another amp. What happens? The test either proves my point or proves that it's my subjectivity coming into play.

Let's not confuse individual's subjectivity in music with the science of design. Audio components are designed on a bench, that's what I, and every other designer does whether its audio equipment or commercial instruments. I pick each component for a specific reason, I think it will make the best equipment for a specific style of music. If I'm wrong in my selection I see it immediately with sophisticated test instruments well before any subjective listening is done. It's called science.

Art Dudley just reviewed audio cable in the June issue of Stereophile. There was not one piece of comparative science in that article, just his opinion about pesto and audio cables.
Cables, like all audio, equipment are designed using science, isn't it perfectly logical that we use science to evaluate and differentiate them?

Again, it's just plain old common sense – so why don't Art Dudley and John Atkinson like it? I'll give you three guesses and the first two don't count…..
Rob

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I think that would be useful and interesting

And I certainly appreciate the need to use sound engineering in designing components. But, things can still measure the same and sound differently if what is being measured isn't what is equating to a difference in sound. That doesn't mean that a bias is influencing perception, necessarily, but rather that not everything that is being measured makes an audible difference or that what makes a difference is being measured.

Cables, for example, from an engineer's perspective, should have no effect on the sound if it meets the design requirements for a given purpose. The fact that they do sound differently suggests that what an engineer is testing for in a given cable doesn't measure everything that is audible. If the engineer simply dismisses this as bias or placebo rather than explore what they aren't testing for then they are using their own bias to dismiss something rather than discover why. BTW, Art has only recently accepted that cables do sound different. He did not go down willingly. Ha!

I'm really, and honestly, not averse to testing and I actually do appreciate the stubborn nature of science. But, when it comes to having the requisite curiosity to ask "why" and want to explore the answers, I'm happy to sit in the subjective camp and tell the nay sayers, "You go figure out the why, I don't need to know why to know what I hear."

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What we hear and sense can be measured.

What people like in music DOES fit science, the problem is that what sells equipment, fostered by tests magazine writers publish, doesn't necessarily fit what people actually like. That's why it takes so long for what listeners actually like to emerge.

For example take a look at distortion. No one on the planet can hear the difference between .005% and .0001% distortion but manufacturers use ridiculously low distortion figures as a selling point. Once you get under about .5% distortion it's beyond most people's ability to differentiate distortion. Worse, we like distortion! Magazine writers love to use tube resurgence as an example of how science failed. Science didn't fail, the paradigm we used was wrong. Most of us love tube second harmonic distortion, in fact, I design tube amps watching FFT's (Fast Fourier Transforms) to help dial in about 55 to 65 db down second harmonic distortion.

But that's not a failure of science it's a failure of writers who touted low distortion for years. If writers had used an A/B test years ago they would have found that many audiophiles actually like tube distortion AND they would have been able to observe it in the DBT and zero in on it in the A/B subtractive test as I have observed. I found that listeners constantly preferred tube sound in A/B tests AND what they like is measurable. So it's the writers clamoring that science is flawed that are misleading listeners which is exactly what I'm talking about. Their subjectivity is creating the problems whether it's analog over digital or complimentary - symmetry in output circuits. Now we have this resurgence of class 'A' like it's the God of good audio and manufacturers and making solid state amps that go from 'A' to 'AB' which is more nonsense. Sure, in a 1955 push pull tube amp there's cross over distortion but you're not getting it in a modern SS amp with .005% distortion. You're not going to see it and you're not going to hear it but class 'A' is the new God just like push/pull was the God in the 50's and high power complimentary - symmetry rained in the 70's.

That's why I'm saying enough! The DBT, A/B subtractive and overlay tests are real science that can establish human likes and dislikes because they can show what people actually hear and like or don't like. It's an absolute win for audiophiles and manufacturers will have no choice but to follow.

It's called honesty and, like so many other places in the world, it's missing in audio… the difference is that we can make a difference in audio that benefits the audiophile and not the manufacturer selling swamp water for outlandish prices and writers selling us their subjectivity for perks and a monthly salary. Did you ever wonder why these hearing Gods aren't conductors of major orchestras, they hear better than Von Karajan, Bernstein and Toscanini combined!

Rob

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mosfet50, I do agree with you

The problem is that scientific testing would affect the living of "golden ears" reviewers and their opportunity to get expensive gear at (ahem!) "accommodation" prices and also the sales of less-than-expertly-designed stuff that mediocre engineers foist on unsuspecting buyers.
To quote from the movie "A Few Good Men": You want the truth? You can't handle the truth!

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Tubes vs solid state

Yes, it's true well not in the words you use, but it's true that many audiophiles like tubes as opposed to solid state but not because they like "tube distortion" but because the distortion of tubes is less irritating or objectionable and actually much better when you look at the harmonic structure of tube amps. That's the real reason tubes by and large sound better than many solid state amps, which IMHO have a well synthetic and metallic and unnatural sonic signature. Yes, I know, there are some good sounding SS amps. I'm generalizing. This is definitely a case where science is not as reliable as our hearing. That THD nonsense was the biggest scam out there since 90 dB dynamic range for digital and the importance of slew rate and flat frequency response.

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

mosfet50
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What is distortion?

It's any variation from the original signal regardless whether it's in the form of soft clipping or second order.

http://www.tungsol.com/tungsol/html/faqs14.html

"The harmonic content of an overdriven tube amplifier consists primarily of 2nd order and 3rd order harmonics with some 4th order harmonics. The harmonic content of an overdriven transistor amplifier is primarily 3rd order with suppressed 2nd order harmonics. 2nd and 3rd order harmonics are the most important from a viewpoint of electronic distortion. Musically the 2nd harmonic is an octave above the fundamental and is almost inaudible, yet it adds body to the sound, making it fuller."

Rob

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There are many firms if distortion

"There are many forms of distortion." - Geoff Kait

Geoff Kait
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mosfet50
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Really?

That's called 'stating the obvious' Geoff.

Rob

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mosfet50 wrote:
mosfet50 wrote:

That's called 'stating the obvious' Geoff.

Rob

I know of distortions you never ever heard of, trust me. Stating the obvious? I don't think so. But a question -why does the statement you quoted from Tung Sol mention "when the amp is overdriven,...." Who overdrives their amps? I'm not referring to distortion resulting from overdriving or clipping. Am I missing something?

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

mosfet50
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Plenty of people

Some amps even come with clipping LEDs to show when an amp is over driven.

Rob

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Audio Cables

This engineer knows his stuff, here's what he has to say about cables:

http://web.mit.edu/~jhawk/tmp/p/EST016_Ground_Loops_handout.pdf

"NO OTHER PRODUCT IS AS SHROUDED IN HYPE AND MYSTERY AS THE AUDIO CABLE!

The audio industry, especially the "high-end" segment, abounds with misinformation, myth, and
mysticism. Scientific double-blind tests have shown that there is nothing unexplainable about
audible differences among cables — when the differences can be demonstrated to truly exist. For
example, the physical design of a cable is known to affect its coupling of ultrasonic power line
noise. Even very low levels of this noise can cause audible “spectral contamination” in
downstream amplifiers. [11] The real solution to this problem is to prevent the coupling in the first
place, rather than agonize over which “designer cable” makes the most pleasing improvement.
Expensive and exotic cables, even if double or triple shielded, made of 100% pure unobtainium,
and hand-made by virgins, have NO significant effect on hum and buzz
problems!"

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Definition of an Expert

That is typical of pseudo skeptics who claim blind tests solve all of audiophiles woes, including expensive cables, controversial tweaks like the Mpingo disc, Shakti Stone, coloring CDs, demagnetizing CDs, ionizing CDs, CD enhancing fluids! sending CDs or anything off to the cryo lab, freezing CDs or records in the home freezer, the Intelligent chip, SteinMusic Harmonizer, Silver Rainbow Foil, expensive capacitors, tiny little bowl resonators, The problem with this sort of retarded thinking is that you can find it all over the Internet and from all sorts of so-called experts. Do you know the definition of an expert, Rob? An expert iis someone who used to be a drip under pressure. Get it? Ex-spurt. An expert is also some guy in a cheap suit 50 miles from home. ;-)

The further irony of course is that the same pseudo skeptics that maintain blind tests will settle all controversies are the same ones that actually don't do the tests themselves, one supposes because their mind is already made up on all the audio controversies such as cables, which just might be the longest running one, you know, having started around 35 years ago. And making ones mind without tests, without so much as a thank, you, m'a'm is just SO unscientific, don't you think? For anything, even for lithium vs alkaline batteries.

Geoff Kait
Machina Dramatica

mosfet50
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You're not giving me anything but your opinion - AGAIN!

Show me one factual statement that you can validate from your above comment.

I thought you were finished here?

You're criticizing the head of Jansen Transformers who has been working in the field for years and teaching at MIT, one of the most respected engineering schools in the world. Did you read the link I posted, can you understand the technology?

What exactly is your background?

Rob

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You don't have to look too far for someone with credentials

The esteemed MIT professor was giving his opinion, too. Just like you are. None of us are giving any proof. Not even evidence. Not even the MIT professor, who has the audacity to say audiophiles like the "pleasant sound" of some high end cables. Strictly wishful thinking of the highest caliber. Well, la dee da! You don't have to look too far for someone with great credentials to poo pooh high end cables or high end anything for that matter. I'd wager AES is probably in agreement with your professor's view that high end cables are snake oil. The professor even weasel worded his view trying to back-peddle when he opined, "and any sonic differences that might exist can be corroborated by measurements." That's priceless! The MIT dude talks like you do, in generalities and more or less from a position of pomposity. I also wager he doesn't even have an audio system. Just a guess, but I suspect he's never actually measured any cables either. That would be too much trouble. Measurements are for those little people, the ones down THERE.. ;-). Ooops, I guess I'm not quite out of this thread yet. ;-)

By the way citing some old MIT dude on the subject of audio is actually a logical fallacy! it's called the appeal to authority. It's a mistake in Logic.

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica

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About measurements and reviewers

Before measuring anything I check if the measurement chain is calibrated. Sometimes it is, some other times it ain't, so I need to do some calibration work before starting the actual mesuring process. The problem is calibration is not always possible so I have to make do with a systematic error... but this doesn't hurt if I know the influence of said error (say, a 0.01 mV DC bias) - I can substract it from the results before analysis. What I certainly don't do is throw away the measuring gear which might otherwise perform flawlessly.
Well, the same goes for reviewers: I don't suggest those with less than perfect hearing or obvious biases should be dismissed, I only expect these facts be published so the readers are given the opportunity to apply a "systematic correction" if they feel the need to.

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Geoff,

Geoff,

First, he specifically said – scientific double blind test- that's not his opinion, that's science! Secondly he showed through many illustrations and technical examples how noise is generated and its resolution in equipment. He backed up everything he said with science.

When he cited the "myths" about cables he backed up his statement with science.

I'm wondering if you understand what he said, apparently you completely missed what he wrote and mistakenly called it an "appeal to authority" when it was in fact based on science and solid reason.

What's your technical background?

Where's your critical thinking and your ability to apply and comprehend science? You keep making the same mistakes, you're not differentiating between opinion and science? I'm not picking on you but if you want to debate this issue you need a foundation which is not apparent in your statements.

Rob

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Not with today's equipment

I have equipment here that can read down to nanoamps. We have equipment that can go well beyond human hearing today with uncanny exacting tolerances.

Editors aren't employing the science in their reviews to collaborate or disprove their opinions between two pieces of equipment. I think they deliberately avoid them because readers would be shocked at how close equipment is today.

We're getting to the point that the new technology is so advanced, precise and moving at such a fast rate that it is much less of a challenge to make exceptional equipment then say, 30 or 40 years ago. Large scale integration with its precision and constant advancements is even bringing down the cost of really good test equipment. You can buy chips today, take the AD5282 digital pot for instance, that I use in my designs. It's so far ahead of carbon pots that it's equivalent to comparing a typewriter to a word processor.

I constantly get new DAC chip with better specs in my inbox everyday and it would have cost 20 or 30k to have a meter that accurately reads down to nanoamps 30 years ago. My meter costs around $1400.00, How do you beat that! My scope rivals scopes from 30 years ago by leaps and bounds. I get direct readout of I2C, SPI, CAN, etc. Not only that but the aspects from one company to another are so close now that they're bragging about the smallest details in their ads.

Anyone who doesn't think that audio has the same benefits is living in a cave. Buying 75k amps is equivalent to pouring money down the drain, much less several thousand dollar silver cables.

That's why they don't want A/B subtractive tests, they would embarrass a lot of people!

Rob

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I think you might have misunderstood

I was trying to say YOU were guilty of a logical fallacy, the Appeal to Authority, not that the professor was guilty although he actually probably is too. By using the good MIT professor to try to prove your point you were using an Appeal to Authority. Besides anyone can use the WORD science in a sentence. It doesn't necessarily mean the sentence is scientifically correct. It's another logical fallacy. If I say I have a scientific background, which is actually true, therefore whatever physics or electronics or biology statement I make is automatically TRUE that would be a logical fallacy, right? If Appeal to Authority were an acceptable form of debate all anyone would have to do to win and argument no matter what it is is Google the Internet until you find some MIT professor or Harvard professor or PhD who backs up your argument, as I already pointed out. You DO realize, don't you, that scientists do not agree with each other on scientific arguments. Not all scientists share your enthusiasm for blind tests, for example. You didn't think this was going to be easy, did you? Lol

Geoff Kait
Machina Dynamica
Run silent run deep

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Again!

Which scientists don't agree? Why? What criteria do they based their disagreement on?
You keep making the same mistakes over and over and over.

I didn't appeal to authority, I referred to the science, the facts!

You're in science? What's your background? What's your degree in? You don't critically think, you constantly confuse your opinion with facts.

I don't want to pick on you but you need to support your statements, you haven't yet.

Rob

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